Translate

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

School Recess is at Risk

The second article below included in this post connects up the loss of recess to the focus on standardized testing. Glad to see that the Cartoon Network is getting involved. -Angela

Some Schools Are Leaving Recess Behind
By BEN FELLER, AP Education Writer Tue May 16, 6:21 PM ET

One sure way to get parents exercised is to take away recess, the playful part of the school day when their kids can run wild. In some places, it no longer exists.

The proportion of schools that don't have recess ranges from 7 percent for first and second grades to 13 percent by sixth grade, new government figures show.

Put in perspective, the overwhelming majority of elementary schools still offer recess each day, usually for about 25 minutes. Most children get one recess a day, if not two or three.

What troubles parents, though, is a sense that recess is under siege, so much that the Cartoon Network and the National PTA have launched a "Rescuing Recess" campaign. Kids are leading the huge letter-writing effort to school officials with one theme: Let us play.

"The reason I get riled up — and that most parents do — is we see recess as an opportunity for children to play," said Diane Larson, a mother of four in Tacoma, Wash. "It's a time for children to be imaginative, to show innovation on the playground. And it's one of the times when kids actually get to interact with their friends."

Larson and other parents in her district want elementary schools to offer separate recess periods each day, but students often get only their lunch periods to let loose. The recess drop-off is most noticeable in third grade, she said, when preparation for testing kicks in.

Where recess is in decline, school leaders usually blame academic pressures. Under federal law, schools must test and show progress in reading and math starting in third grade.

But how schools manage their time is a local decision. Recess competes with many other activities for schedule time, from music and arts to gym classes and computer classes.

At Rivers Edge Elementary outside Richmond, Va., children get only one gym class a week, which makes their daily recess period even more important, said PTA President Wendy Logan.

"The kids study all day, and they need some time for social activities," Logan said. "And those kids who struggle sitting the whole day — they're the ones who need it the most."

Nationwide, 99 percent of elementary schools schedule time for physical education apart from recess. More than half, though, offer those gym classes only once or twice a week.

Elementary schools in poor communities offer less recess, and less overall time for exercise during the school week, than other schools, the government study found.

The 2005 school figures, released Tuesday, come from the Education Department's first study on food and exercise in public elementary schools. It includes no data from previous years to determine, for example, whether recess has been declining over time.

Local disputes over the elimination of recess have popped up in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami and other communities. Such local stories, not the national picture, worry parents.

To them, recess is an institution — how could an elementary school not have it? When are kids supposed to yell with their friends, play tag or kickball, just have some fun?

"It's how I believe they start building their social structure," said Sandi Hocker, a mother of two in San Antonio, Texas. "Their P.E. classes are organized, and they are activity related. I think (children) need recess just for the socialization."

In an informal survey by the National PTA of its state leaders, more than half said daily recess is at risk. Only 9 percent were confident recess would not be reduced in their school.

The Cartoon Network has pledged more than $1.3 million to save recess. That includes more than $300,000 in grants to PTA chapters for participating in the ongoing letter campaign.

Mark Schneider, commissioner of the National Center of Education Statistics, presented the government findings on recess and exercise. He declined to draw conclusions from them.

But given the obesity rates among children, he said: "I think we should all be concerned about any schools that aren't providing sufficient physical activities."

___

On The Net:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=1&u=/ap/20060516/ap_on_re_us/school_recess_2

Education Department report: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid2006057

Rescuing Recess: http://www.rescuingrecess.com/

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Parents, TV network rally around recess

St Louis Post Dispatch
Wednesday, May. 17 2006

One sure way to get parents riled up is to take away
recess, the playful part of the school day when their kids can run free. In
some places, it no longer exists.

Students who don't have recess range from 7 percent
for first and second grades to 13 percent by sixth grade, new government figures
show.

Put in perspective, the overwhelming majority of
elementary schools still offer recess each day, usually for about 25 minutes. Most
children get one recess a day, if not two or three.

What troubles parents, though, is a sense that recess
is under siege, so much that the Cartoon Network and the National PTA have
launched a "Rescuing Recess" campaign. Kids are leading the huge letter-writing
effort to school officials with one theme: Let us play.

"The reason I get riled up - and that most parents do
- is we see recess as an opportunity for children to play," said Diane Larson,
a mother of four in Tacoma, Wash. "It's a time for children to be
imaginative, to show innovation on the playground. And it's one of the times when kids
actually get to interact with their friends."

Larson and other parents in her district want
elementary schools to offer
separate recess periods each day, but students often
get only their lunch periods to let loose. The recess drop-off is most
noticeable in third grade, she said, when preparation for testing kicks in.

Where recess is in decline, school leaders usually
blame academic pressures. Under federal law, schools must test and show progress
in reading and math starting in third grade.

Elementary schools in poor communities offer less
recess, and less overall time for exercise during the school week, than other
schools, the government study found.

The 2005 school figures, released Wednesday, come from
the Education Department's first study on food and exercise in
public elementary schools. It includes no data from previous years to determine, for
example, whether recess has been declining over time.

The Cartoon Network has pledged more than $1.3 million
to save recess. That includes more than $300,000 in
grants to PTA chapters for participating in the
ongoing letter campaign.

3 comments:

  1. In law school I started a non profit called the education coalition as motivational speaker series for at risk youth.

    Then as an attorney I have sued corrupt school boards.

    And I lived in Texas for a while; one of my sisters is there in Colleyville :)

    My comment to you is:

    a) that is ridiculous how they cut creative things like recess and the arts right out of curriculum.

    b) when kids go to recess they need to be free from assaults by known felons that go unreported to the police:

    http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/2006/05/kingcast-presents-audiotape-of.html

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe, maybe not; but, when it comes to cars, this is the consensus!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice blogging, My review is very good example.
    Lindsay Rosenwald http://www.lindsayrosenwald.info/ Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald is one of the re-known venture capitalists and the hedge fund managers in the world.

    ReplyDelete